Twitter shares fell Friday after Bloomberg reported about increased scrutiny from the federal government into its pending sale to Elon Musk, dropping to nearly their lowest level since Musk said earlier this month he’d move ahead with his $44 billion acquisition.
Twitter shares dropped 4.4% to $50.17 Friday as the market rose generally, threatening to close below $50 for the first time since October 7.
Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported late Thursday the Biden Administration is mulling placing Musk’s business dealings under a national security review due to Musk apparently cozying up to the Kremlin and securing financing for the Twitter deal from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the report a “major wild card” for Wall Street’s interpretation of the likelihood Musk’s Twitter acquisition going through as expected.
Other Thursday night news also weighed down Twitter stock: The Washington Post reported on internal documents of Musk’s plans to fire about 75% of Twitter’s employees, which Ives called “way too aggressive” in a Friday note to clients, and a brutal Thursday earnings report from fellow social media giant Snap, Snapchat’s parent company.
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told CNN Friday the agency doesn’t “know of any such conversations” taking place about examining Musk’s business dealings. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO came under fire in recent weeks for several incidents appearing to indicate a chummy relationship with the Russian government, including proposing for Ukraine to cede territory to Russia and reportedly speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the war a few weeks ago. Musk disclosed a 9% stake in Twitter in April and the company accepted his unsolicited takeover bid later that month, but the partnership quickly soured, with Musk officially filing to back away from the deal in July. Twitter sued Musk to force through the deal, but Musk told the company October 3 he’d move ahead with the original terms, two weeks before the trial between Musk and Twitter was slated to begin.
$54.20 per share. That’s how much Musk agreed to pay for Twitter, a 38% premium from the company’s stock before he disclosed his position in the firm. Twitter shares hovered near $40 between July and early October, before shooting up more than 20% to over $50.
We estimate Musk to be worth $212 billion, about $60 billion more than anybody else.
“💯🤣,” Musk replied to a comment on the Bloomberg report of the potential national security review calling it “hysterical if the government stopped Elon from over paying for Twitter.”
Snap shares tanked 31% to $7.50 Friday, while shares of Facebook parent Meta also dipped Friday, falling 2.5% to $128.18.